The biggest box…
Why all major religions are true, and their teachings valid, and why Christianity is also true which is said to be “the only way” to God. This is not a contradiction.
Dedicated to my atheist friend “Sam”
I have practiced many different religions before settling on the teachings of Christ. They all have this in common. If practiced correctly (which is always as training and guidance and practice with a master or elder. Religion can not be “studied“).
…all lead to “spiritual awareness”, bar none.
However they do not all lead to awareness of the same awareness, or even the same ‘place’. This physical universe is a ‘place’ in which one can live. It is not one that anyone has to live in. Each religion practices very unique methods that go to a unique and specific “place” in the spiritual realm…
…which is an actual place to live in not in any way different from the physical realm which is also just “as spiritual” as any other.
We all are spiritual beings, and your belief can not change this fact. Everything is “spirit“. You can say everything is (this instead), but everything’s “the same” everywhere. What makes things seem to be different?
Your focused attention and interpretation of whatever you are “focussed on”. People report this difference differently. This doesn’t mean anything.
A good metaphor is a child on Christmas morning rushing into his living room that is alive with flickering lights. He becomes overwhelmed with the splendor, wonder and excitement of the “experience”. As he scans the scene in front of him he spots “THE BIG BOX”. He then “focuses” all his attention on the “biggest box”, and starts towards it to open it.
Now the child is so wrapped up in the contents of “the big box” he has forgotten that there are “other boxes” under the tree to open…
You are focused on one such box.
Buddhism, for instance “focuses on” a certain area or “truth” about reality in general, existence, and your “immediate environment in general”. This leads them into a very specific area that has very specific mechanics that are unique to this area only. An example would be learning how to navigate your (what is referred to as) “emotional states”. They learn that there is absolutely no difference in the experience of pain and the experience of pleasure, and that the difference that was true in physical awareness comes from your own perception and interpretation of that unique experience…and focusing your attention there.
…or your experience with the contents of “that particular box”.
This is referred to as your belief about that. The Bible refers to this as your faith (in anything). One emotional experience is “appointed” (or assigned to) by the existing person as bad, “pain”, “hurt”, and one is appointed by the existing person as the unique experience of “pleasure, happiness, ecstasy”, or as good.
The experience then becomes the reality they “live in”.
Not as many others actually believe…
…that reality comes first, then the experience of it, then the interpretation of it afterwards, then the belief in it.
That is (as scripture states)…is backwards, or perverted, inverted, take your pick. If we are actually the “Children of God” as the Bible states then we create these things for ourselves…and become trapped in them, also as the Bible states.
Without getting into the “mechanics of reality” or wasting too much time on the other major religions, (they all work on this principle), I will say that I finally settled on the teachings of Christ for two reasons. First, while all others will indeed allow you access to other existences and enhancements to the physical universe for you, they all (as I have mentioned) “go to a certain very specific place” and each has a very specific set of circumstances. Although these may be very rewarding and even pleasurable, they are still confined to their unique existences and all the “conditions” that are unique to them that you have ASSIGNED TO YOUR LIKING, or as people usually say, “believe them to be”.
This will continue to be true from that point forward for as long as you decide to believe that, or “stay in that place”. So you are “keeping the faith” no matter what you do, and the result? Look around.
Christ has, just as is echoed throughout the physical world, “set me free” from the conditions I have “appointed and changed to my liking” that I was not even aware I was in bondage to until Christ pointed this out for me.
For me, not to to me. As the band Creed writes in a popular song, unknowingly “I created my own prison” (and for the same reasons, they are a Christian band).
So keep in mind as we continue these discussions, there is no “us and them”. We will not be whisked away to “somewhere else” while people remain trapped in a decaying physical universe until they all become extinct or blow each other and their world away. There is no “going to heaven” (this is not a Biblical concept). What is a Biblical concept is a “new” heaven and a new earth.
As Jesus likes to say, It is “at hand”… now. (Matthew 10:7 KJV)
Just like those other boxes are “at hand now”.
Note to the atheist and/or naturalist:
Believe it or not although I enjoy the freedom Christ has given me, and the knowledge and understanding of life and death (which are also “places”) physical existence in the physical universe is not some “evil that must be done away with that God will destroy”. God created the these and all other “mansions” that are in His house for me, and for you, and for “whosoever will come”. So while I have denounced all bondage to the physical universe I am not banned from living here. I am just not “bound to it” now. In fact we actually own this place and all others, and we will be living here for just as long as we wish, and coming and going to and from “other places” as we simply decide to.
I enjoy physical existence as I should, and I love Rock-n-Roll music. Why shouldn’t I? But to remain trapped in a physical existence of decay and death, AND the idea that it is all eternally set in stone is hell, and God did not cause anyone to choose to remain trapped anywhere, no matter what you “believe“.
However you may if you wish enjoy that reality of a decaying existence with war, pain and eternal death that you freely decide you have to eradicate yourself in forever, because you are also free to do as you wish, and your faith works for you just as is does for all humans. Faith is “belief and assurance”. This is also Biblical concept, and it is called the “place” of weeping and gnashing of teeth” and your faith in your own belief that “this is just the way it has to be” will be honored by God just as my own will, and everyone else’s.
But as for me and my house, we will stay with the Lord of life.
Almost forgot my second reason I finally settled on the teachings of Christ. Christ freely chose to be my friend and offered to teach me to know these things, and I freely accepted His offer.
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” -Jesus. The Christ
Carry on then…